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What are the causes of adultery?

By: Abdul Adheem al-Muhtadi al-Bahrani
Question: My friend is a shopkeeper. He said that there is a married woman often tried to seduce him. Many times he chided her but with no use. One day, she came to his shop and insisted for him to commit adultery with her, justifying that her husband paid no attention to her emotional needs. Would you please talk about these dangerous corruptions and how to treat their causes?
The answer: The Prophet (S) said, ‘The wrath of Allah is so great on a married woman who fills her eyes with other than her husband or one of her mahrams. If she does so, Allah will nullify all her deeds, and if she sleeps with other than her husband on her bed, Allah will definitely burn her in Fire after torturing her in the grave.[127]’
Dear brother, what is important is that your friend should overcome his desires and not fall into the trap of this adulteress, for then he would throw himself with her into the fire of Hell.
I would like to say to your friend and those like him what Imam as-Sadiq (a.s.) said, ‘Be abstinent from the women of people, and your women will be abstinent![128]’
Does his conscience accept that the honor of the women of his family should be violated? If his answer is “NO”, let him beware of opening a way for his own honor to be violated.
This tested man and that enticing woman should ponder deeply on the sayings of the Prophet (S) narrated by Imam as-Sadiq (a.s.), ‘You have to be abstinent and avoid adultery’[129] and by Imam al-Baqir (a.s.), ‘There is no worship better near Allah than the abstinence of the abdomen (not to eat any unlawful thing) and genitals.[130]’
Let them, also, ponder on the great reward of the martyr who struggles for the sake of Allah! It is less than the reward of one who is able to commit adultery but he abstains and forbears. We have been informed of such by Imam Ali (a.s.) who added, ‘An abstinent is about to be as one of the angels.[131]’
Imam Ali (a.s.) also said, ‘Satisfaction and suppressing the lust are the best of abstinence.[132]’
He said to Muhammad bin Abu Bakr when he appointed him as the wali of Egypt, ‘Know that the best of abstinence is piety in the religion of Allah and doing according to His orders. I recommend you of fearing Allah in secrecy and in openness…[133]’
Dear young man, you should resist and not permit yourself to commit adultery because it is one of the major sins. Remember, when the Satan invites you towards adultery, Allah sees you as do your great Prophet (S) and infallible Imams (a.s.), who know your secrets every Thursday by the will of Allah, Who knows every secret[134].
You should remember that sin has destructive effects and bad consequences that disgrace man in this life and bring him distresses and griefs.
Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘He who hastens towards lusts, hastens towards plagues.[135]’
He also said, ‘Whoever enjoys himself by disobeying Allah, Allah afflicts him with meanness.[136]’
Imam al-Baqir (a.s.) said, ‘No disaster afflicts man except after a sin…[137]’
Imam as-Sadiq (a.s.) said, ‘Allah the Almighty says: when he, who knows Me, disobeys Me, I will set up one, who does not know Me, over him.[138]’
This is in this life, but as for the afterlife, the Prophet (S) said, ‘He who shakes hands with a woman who is unlawful (non-mahram) for him will be afflicted with the wrath of Allah, and he who sleeps with a woman who is unlawful for him will be tied by a chain of fire with the Satan and they both will be thrown into Fire.[139]’
I would like to draw the attentions of the husbands who are indifferent to the sexual rights of their wives and also the husbands who are lenient towards their wives in allowing them to watch erotic films or in letting them go out without surveillance that they are partners in the crime of adultery their wives commit.
Imam as-Sadiq (a.s.) said, ‘Allah has given woman patience of ten men, but if she is excited, the power of her lust becomes as of ten men.[140]’
The Prophet (S) ordered husbands by saying, ‘Wash your clothes, cut your hairs, use miswak (tooth cleanser – i.e. brush your teeth), clean your bodies, and adorn yourselves! The Israelites did not do that; therefore, their women committed adultery.[141]’
Adultery is not just a moment of pleasure which ends with the act; rather, hundreds of problems come after it such as sudden death, which is the worst of them, illegitimate children, who form a main cause of crime in societies, and so on.
[127] Al-Hadith, vol.3 p.142.
[128] Mizan al-Hikma, vol. 6 p.359.
[129] Usul al-Kafi, vol.5 p.554.
[130] Usul al-Kafi, vol.2 p.80.
[131] Nahjol Balagha, short maxims, 474.
[132] Mizan al-Hikma, vol. 6 p.364
[133] Mizan al-Hikma, vol. 6 p.364
[134] As in Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 23 p.345, Basa’ir ad-Darajat, p.426.
[135] Ghurar al-Hikam, 666.
[136] Ghurar al-Hikam, 686.
[137] Usul al-Kafi, vol.2 p.269.
[138] Wassa'il ash-Shia, vol. 11 p.242.
[139] Al-Hikam al-Dhahira, p.302.
[140] Usul al-Kafi, vol.5 p.338.
[141] Nahjol Fasaha, p.72 trad.377.

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